Gov. Maura Healey honors coach Lisa Knight

Knight spent over 30 years coaching Vineyard students


Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey helped lead a ceremony Thursday honoring Lisa Knight, who spent more than 30 years coaching field hockey, softball, basketball, and lacrosse at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. 

Healey was on the Island to tour Vineyard Wind I operations and maintenance facilities in Vineyard Haven. 

Knight also taught health, psychology, and physical education. 

Speaking to a crowd of Knight’s former students and others at Viera Park in Oak Bluffs, Healey recalled her time as co-captain of the Harvard Crimson women’s basketball team. 

“I continue to reap so many benefits from sports and the lessons that you learn, and that’s possible because I had great coaches and mentors along the way,” Healey said. “Certainly today we honor a champion in those ranks.”

Healey said she was “thrilled … to see so many of your former players whose lives you’ve fundamentally changed with your coaching. That is not just on the field or on the court, but it extends to life more generally.”

She gave Knight a governor’s citation “in recognition of your dedicated service to the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School teaching health, psychology, physical education, along with the vast time spent coaching field hockey, softball, basketball, and lacrosse. We deeply commend you for your passion for education, athletics, and for the Martha’s Vineyard community,” the governor said.

According to the governor’s office, citations are issued for birthdays over 65, retirements, and anniversaries, as well as “outstanding services or deeds.”

Ernie Chaves, president of MV Little Leagues, presented the governor with a Vineyard baseball hat and baseball. 

Beth O’Connor, a coach who described Knight as her colleague, friend, and family, said that to Knight’s players, she had become “an advisor, a friend, a parent figure, and most of all someone who you would want as a coach.”

“Lisa wasn’t just coaching field hockey, she was teaching life lessons, how to be a role model on and off the field, and how to create a team that cares for each other,” she added. Dylan Shapiro, close family friend of Knight, said, “I am very proud of Lisa and everything she has done.”

Anne Whiting, who coached with Knight for 20 years, commended her work with the special education department and Special Olympics, praising her “dedication, desire, effort, and sportsmanship to all.”

For her part, Knight thanked the parents and students in the crowd. “Thank you for letting your kids play,” she said. “Thanks, kids, for playing.” 

“To put on a shirt that says Vineyard and represent this Island community, there is nothing better,” Knight said. “So parents, let your kids keep playing. You guys, kids, you keep playing. You guys, coaches, you keep coaching, because there is nothing better than youth sports and sports on Martha’s Vineyard.”

“Play ball!” Knight concluded before Healey took to the mound to throw the first pitch.